People always blame the parents especially the mother when the kids misbehave. Yet when the kids are successful they forget to give credit to the parents and often credit the kids themselves for their success. This is similar to our relationship with Allah at times. We we are able to do good we praise ourselves yet when we fall short or fall into sin we blame Allah for not giving us the opportunity to do good or we blame shaytan for his waswasas.
This year so far has been a crazy one to say the least, alhamdulillah for everything. It took a turn when I found out my dad needed bypass surgery earlier this year. Knowing your father will go through a procedure in which surgeons take his heart out and put it on a machine, it makes you realize how everything is truly in Allah’s power. Being in the waiting room for roughly 5-6 hours during the surgery with my heart pounding in my head, my mind racing with what was going on and what could happen, it was frightening to not know anything. I saw surgeons come out from the operating room and talk to family members to tell them one of two things; the surgery went well, or the surgery was complicated and they’re working on it.
My mother and sisters had so much anxiety and kept praying that the doctor would tell us the better news that the surgery went well. When the doctor came out and told us that Alhamdulillah it went well, I felt so secure in the fact that Allah was helping us out. He made it all happen. In those brief hours we were not in control but He watched out for us in the end. I have never felt such gratitude towards Allah in my life then I did that day. And that was the point that I realized we aren’t in control of anything. We never were and we never will be. Whatever is a test or whatever is good is coming from God. And He knows why He’s doing this, all we can do as His servants is pray to Him and trust in Him. Sometimes you have to put your life on the line and know that Allah will take care of you in the end. My dad is much better now Alhamdulillah. The road to recovery was really tough on him and us. We had to watch him learn how to breathe strong again, with hundreds of tubes and extreme pain in his body. It was difficult but Alhamdulillah I think it made all of us become more grateful to Allah, more trusting in Him, and more hopeful for our future.
This helped me make decisions in my life that I would have been scared to make before, and this helped me take chances that I would never consider taking before, like getting married and moving across the country to live a new life. That reflection will come in my next post.. Until then, be strong in your faith in God, He’ll take care of you no matter what inshaAllah.
“Do not take someone’s silence as his pride, perhaps he is busy fighting with his self.”
- Ali ibn Abi Talib (r)
2. You are always learning. Through good times and bad you are constantly learning about the other person and about yourself.
3. It makes you grow. Having the best Ikhlaq with your spouse is so much harder than having it with others. Hence you learn to work on your character and it makes you grow into a better person inshaAllah.
4. You have someone to go everywhere with. Remember that trip you wanted to take to see that one place, well now you can go there with someone and enjoy it.
5. It gives you confidence. A supporting spouse really boosts your confidence level and can help you accomplish many things which you thought you couldn’t do before.
6. It brings you back to reality! Hollywood/bollywood movies got nothing on real life. Marriage pushes you to live in this world and that if you really want a beautiful life with no sadness, you would have to work for jannah!
7. It can be a source for you to see the fruit of your heart…i.e your children.
And there are many more wisdoms behind marriage, most of course are clear solely to Allah. But there is a reason why marriage is highly encouraged in Islam, so don’t delay this sunnah and if possible get married as soon as possible to a pious person with a beautiful character.
I remember learning the Quran as something academic; something I had to learn to read as a Muslim. It was never explained to me WHY I was learning to read this, nor was it explained to me what this book actually was. Most of us grew up this way through no fault of those who raised us. We learned how to read the Quran but never did we learn that it was the guidance for our life, never was the relationship with the quran stressed. We learned the Quran from people who had memorized the Quran but didn’t necessarily understand it, or had a relationship with it themselves. Hence many times we were threatend with punishment if we didn’t read it correctly. As my son begins to hit the age of three and as I start to figure out how I am going to teach him, there are some things in my mind that I have promised to do/or not do when it comes to teaching the Quran. Here’s a list of those:
1. I must love the Quran, have a relationship with the Quran and understand its importance in order to teach my kids to love this book and turn to it for Guidance. Have you ever taken a class from a professor that really loves what he is teaching? If you have you will realize that when they love it, it is so easy to love learning it even if it is not a subject that you like. This is how I want my kids to learn and I want them to be around teachers who teach them because they love the Quran themselves.
2. The Quran can never be taught by threatening the kids with punishment if they don’t get their words right. Wouldn’t it be better if we instead told the kids about the hadith that there is reward even for the one who struggles with his pronounciation of the Quran? in fact that person’s reward is more since he is struggling to learn the word of Allah. What a beautiful motivator for the kids.
3. The Quran must be taught in a beautiful environment. There’s got to be a place in the house that’s like serene, beautiful and comfortable where we teach our kids the Quran. They will want to stay longer in a this beautiful enviornment instead of wanting to finish everything fast so they can relax in their room.
4. The meaning and the Why’s of the Quran should be taught. Why are we learning this book? After we learn to read it correctly how do we use it in our personal lives? etc, etc. Kids are full of questions, they should know the heavy weight of what they are learning and have all their why questions answered. Also after the everyday lesson of reading in arabic, at least a half hour should be spent on the meaning/tafseer of it.
That’s my starting point for now, I’m sure I’ll be adding more as I actually start this journey inshaAllah. May Allah make it easy for me to teach this book with sincerity and may Allah make it easy for our children to sincerely learn this book and to love it and turn to it in every situation. Ameen!
People are encouraged to follow Islam through 3 main feelings: Hope, Fear, and Love.
There are some verses in the Quran that talk about how beautiful Jannah is, how much happiness you will find there, how you will never feel a second of bad feelings in your heart. This makes you want to seek that, to try your best to attain Jannah. This is hope.
There are other verses in the Quran that detail how harsh the Hellfire is, what happens to your body in the grave if you disobey, how badly you will regret your sins if you disobey. This makes you want to seek forgiveness, and try your best to avoid doing these sins. This is Fear.
Finally, there are those Names of Allah that you will learn about, that describe Who your Lord really is. What characteristics He has that makes him the Almighty, and the All-forgiving. Through this, you will be in awe of how He really is with His servants. Through finding those little blessings in your life, you will begin to appreciate Him. This is love.
Your heart is like a bird. One wing is Hope. The other wing is Fear. The head of the bird, is Love. (Ibn Al-Qayyim, Madarij al-Salikin)
Love is the most important thing you can teach someone if you want them to follow the right path. Fear and Hope will just assist that Love and help to maintain a balance, but Love is the ultimate factor that pushes them towards the right direction, and that initiates the wings of Hope and Fear to keep on flying.
Have hope in what your Lord has promised you if you try your best to do Good. Have fear in those punishments he has promised the disobedient, and try your best to refrain from bad. But most importantly, Love your Creator for Who He is, for what He has done for you, and what He has provided you with. That will carry you through the skies, and ensure your journey to the best path.
One morning, as I lay in bed after Suhoor, my eyes were wanting to go to sleep but my mind was still awake. I remember the night before my sister spoke to me about wanting to go to the park by my house after Sehri and check out the sunrise. Our park has this “preserved wetlands” and walking trail right by it, where there are no buildings or houses built, just a huge chunk of land with trees; a perfect spot to see the sunrise. So finally I got over my laziness, kicked back the covers, put on my hoodie and set out to watch the sun rise. It was a Friday morning, the air was crisp and the sky was clear. The sunrise was incredible.
The next one I got to capture was the morning after the 27th of Ramadan. I wanted to check out if the sun was just like the way the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam described it would be after Laylatul Qadr. Continue reading
As I recall the story of our Beloved Prophet (SAW) and the deaths of two of the most closest people to him, I am reminded of the reason that year was called the year of grief. Our Prophet (SAW), someone so purely gentle, lost his loving and loyal wife Khadijah (R). He lost the woman he ran to for comfort after being terrified of his first encounter with Angel Jibreel (A). He lost the woman who instead of sitting depressed alongside her husband, gave him strength by reminding him, “Allah will not forsake you.” He lost his love, his security, and the mother of his children.
Within a short span of time from a wound still fresh, he was afflicted with another tragedy, the death of his uncle Abu Talib. This man was his security outside his home, without whim he would never be safe to practice the true religion of Allah. He grew up with his uncle and spent such a long part of his life with him, but he lost him to the blazing fire below his feet. To lose a close family member, one is always worried about their afterlife. One hopes and prays for their forgiveness for the one they lost. But our dear Prophet (SAW) wasn’t uncertain because he knew his uncle died a disbeliever. And this was a bigger loss.
With pain still fresh in his heart, he sought aid and protection from a community in Ta’if, but instead of being politely turned down, he was ridiculed out and made the target of a children’s game. Out of amusement they threw rocks that left his blood dripping in the burning sand. With angels ready to turn the city upside down for its audacity, our Prophet (SAW) uttered words of forgiveness! Words harboring no anger or ill feelings but holding mercy and hope.
No matter, the pain of these three tragedies held a place in his heart. So Allah (SWT) has said, ” Verily, after hardship comes ease .” And truly after hardship comes ease. Our Prophet (SAW) was given a luxurious gift from Allah (SWT) above of Isra wal Mira’aj. A consolation from our Creator (SWT) specially designed to remedy an aching heart. A ride through the heavens, meetings with prophets before him (SAW) and the best gift of all, prayers for him and us until the end of time.
Today we live in a time where we stress out of control very quickly. We have lost our sense of patience and cannot allow for a change of events to ruin our day. We harbor negativity about others and in turn, we harbor negative thoughts about Allah (SWT). We aren’t content simply because we aren’t linked with our true nature the way our Prophet (SAW) was linked with his. We are destined to be in a constant state of change. But the one thing that we can take into our own hands is the way we rely on Allah (SWT) for anything and everything. We can truly believe after seeing all of these realities and experiencing some miracles ourselves. We can truly believe, if we are good to others, good to ourselves, and good to Allah (SWT), Allah (SWT) will never forsake us! We can always find in Him (SWT) our peace and security. Whether we think we can’t handle all the changes coming so quickly, or whether we’ve been waiting for so long for an answer to our du’as, there is no doubt Allah (SWT) is there listening, watching and ready for us. All we have to do is truly believe. We have to believe that this is the same Creator who consoled our Beloved Prophet (SAW) with such a magnificent gift. This is the same Merciful Creator who has been there for us while we were not yet aware of our own selves. And He (SWT) will continue to provide and guide us until the last day. But we must do our part and acknowledge Him (SWT). We must acknowledge His work in everything we see around us. We must acknowledge that it is not Him who has forgotten us but us who have forgotten Him. We have forgotten that He has promised reward to the patient, aid to the oppressed and judgement to all. And we can take comfort in knowing that when all feels lost and the world is just unfair, Allah (SWT) isn’t. You may feel that everything is just not going as planned but know Allah (SWT) is the best of planners and His plan is the only plan and when we open our eyes, we can see that it is the best plan.
We should take solace in knowing that Allah (SWT) gave us prayers as our gift to remember Him, thank Him, praise Him and so much more. Beyond all this He gave us something so great to always use as an aid for our aching heart, the Qur’an. Read it, listen to it, memorize it, use it, follow it. As if this wasn’t enough to dry our tears, Allah (SWT) has promised us year after year a month known as Ramadan when the doors of heaven will be opened and mercy will be felt down to earth. When the devils will be chained to give us even more relief. And in this month Allah (SWT) will insha’Allah give us a night. The night of power will be better than a thousand months. A night where angels surround us and mercy is filled until the morning. So my fellow muslims, rejoice! Be content, for Allah (SWT) has not forsaken us! May we all live to see Ramadan and make it the best one yet! Ameen!